Startup crowdSPRING Scaled Support Right Alongside Their Business

April 7, 2010

crowdSPRING is an online marketplace for creative services. Businesses looking for a logo, a website, or even help naming their company can post that project on crowdSPRING; those projects, as well as what the business is paying for them, are then available for the creative community to browse and work on.

Right from the start, crowdSPRING’s founder Mike Samson recognized the need for timely and accurate responses to support requests. In the world of web startups, he explains, customer service and support is not something you think about after you’ve built up your customer base, it’s how you build up your customer base.

“Customer service is part of our marketing plan,” he says. “A large part of our marketing is through word of mouth. Good customer service is the best way to make happy customers.”

We concur.

Rather than play catchup once support requests started coming in, Samson wanted something in place as they grew. They chose Zendesk because it fit with their startup model: they could get up and running with a low-monthly cost and no long-term commitment and scale the service as they grew.

When they launched the site, Samson says, they had about 400 users on their site and not a huge volume of tickets.

As crowdSpring grew, however, so did their support requests. In less than 2 years they were up to 40,000 service requests and 70,000 users. Zendesk made that scaling possible.

“Zendesk maximizes our capacity,” Samson explains. With Zendesk, they are able to support their 70,000 user base with a relatively small group: 2 full time, 1 part time agent who works in the forums, and the 2 founders covering nights and weekends.

With such a small team on support, crowdSPRING can focus their resources on making crowdSPRING the best it can be. This is important for any business, startup or now. At the same time, however, they haven’t had to compromise on providing the level of customer service and support they know is necessary to their success.

This balance is important. You don’t want too little support; but then, as crowdSPRING’s example shows, you don’t want too much, eating up your resources. You want your support to scale smartly, just like your business.

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